The security farce at the Champions League final should be written about for months to come. Until we know the Stade de France can protect the welfare of fans, and until we know that Liverpool fans will be treated well by police across Europe next season, it must remain in the news. It won’t, without determination and creativity from the people involved.
Campaigning is a skill. Social media might be available to all but in many respects it’s become harder to make a mark. It takes talent to turn disconnected photos and videos from Twitter into evidence for the French authorities. Where would we be without Daniel Austin’s confidence in speaking French in the French media?
Many Liverpool fans just come for the football. But readers on the Anfield Wrap know that this means more. Ticket prices, foodbanks, prayer spaces in the stadium, how we treat residents in L4, whether kits are manufactured ethically and sustainability. You can’t divorce politics from football and Liverpool is a deeply political city.
But too few people from Liverpool are represented in our national media, and too few working class voices – particularly when considering the passion, needs and challenges the city represents.
I’ve been inspired by Margaret Aspinall and all of the families involved in the Hillsborough campaign groups who worked so hard, for so long to fight for their loved ones. So in memory of James Gary Aspinall, I wanted to do something to create change.
The Shelia McKechie Foundation was created to help people learn the skills of campaigning to unleash civil society’s capacity to create profound, long-term change. It’s Campaign Carousel is a training programme that runs three times a year so you can jump on and jump off as and when suits you. Within that year, you attend five, three-hour online workshops and become part of a community of campaigners. You will also have two coaching sessions with the course leader to help you build your skills and confidence. Based on the foundation’s ground breaking work on ‘Social Power’ – and how it can be used to make change at all levels – this training works for those new to campaigning and those looking to bolster their skills.
So I’m funding three free places for readers of the Anfield Wrap. If you’re interested, please send a short letter to [email protected] explaining what you’re already doing in your community and how you believe the course would help your development.